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As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the Rangers have waived Wade Redden. I was honestly a little surprised by how quickly the team did it, literally putting him on the second the option was available to them. I figured he was going to get a preseason game to maybe showcase himself for a team in case they were interested in picking him off of waivers (I’m thinking a cap floor team that needs to take on the salary, a-la Islanders), and since worse comes to worst you still just waive him, the Rangers would be in no different a position than they are today, except maybe some poor sap decides to take pity on Wade and give him a shot on their club. But, I guess if the Rangers felt that there was no possible way that anyone would claim him, then getting rid of him right away and seeing as many kids as possible in the preseason does make a lot more sense.

Look, Wade isn’t the worst defenseman in the NHL. He’s not even the worst defenseman on our preseason roster. He’s better than Exelby, Semenov and Eminger, by various degrees. But, they do not carry a 6.5 million dollar cap hit attached to their name, and that’s where Wade has his contract working against him. My guess is, if Wade was making about 3 mil a year, he would still be on the team, and wouldn’t be near as big a goat as he currently is. But, with great power comes great responsibility, or so Spider-Man tells me, and that ridiculous contract that Wade has gives him a hell of a lot of responsibility. He needs to play as good as Chris Pronger, as good as Mike Green, as good as Duncan Keith, and he’s not even the 4th best defenseman on the Rangers, let alone in the NHL.

It’s a shame that it had to come down to this, but it had to be done. It will be interested to see if the Rangers now try to acquire Brad Richards from the Stars. I honestly would not be surprised one bit if they try to trade Michal Rozsival and Brandon Dubinsky, or something like that, for Richards. It would be an interesting lineup though, wouldn’t it? I think if the Rangers do pull off a trade for Richards, that is something like what I said here (granted that probably isn’t enough going back the other way) the Rangers might just be a playoff team, perhaps even as good as a 6 seed.

Alexander Frolov ($3.000m) / Brad Richards ($7.800m) / Marian Gaborik ($7.500m)
Vaclav Prospal ($2.100m) / Artem Anisimov ($0.821m) / Ryan Callahan ($2.300m)
Sean Avery ($1.937m) / Chris Drury ($7.050m) / Mats Zuccarello-Aasen ($1.750m)
Tim Kennedy ($0.550m) / Brian Boyle ($0.525m) / Brandon Prust ($0.800m)
Derek Boogaard ($1.625m) / Erik Christensen ($0.925m)

Marc Staal ($3.975m) / Daniel Girardi ($3.325m)
Matt Gilroy ($1.750m) / Ryan McDonagh ($1.300m)
Michael Del Zotto ($1.087m) / Mike Sauer ($0.500m)
Steve Eminger ($1.125m)

Henrik Lundqvist ($6.875m) /Martin Biron ($0.875m)

CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled using the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $59,400,000; CAP PAYROLL: $59,496,667; BONUSES: $2,587,500
CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $2,490,833

As you can see, the numbers all work, with us being about 100k over the cap which would roll over next year thanks to bonuses. This can be resolved by sending down one of the waiver eligible players like MZA for a few games to start the season.

This team also has a legitimate powerhouse top line, and a ton of youth with Ryan McDonagh, Michael Sauer, and MZA all on the team as rookies. It also has a lot of upside for next year with Derek Stepan and Evgeny Grachev getting to play on the same line in Hartford and can come up as a tandem next year when Prospal, Kennedy, Boyle, etc are gone.

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